The National Quality Forum lists surgical errors as “Never Events”. That means that errors during surgery should not happen. If surgical errors are a never event, why are they still happening at such a high rate?
Many times, we hear about a patient that underwent a surgical procedure and had an instrument, needle, lap pad, sponge, towel, or retractor left inside of them after the surgery. In addition, other errors such as the wrong side of the body operated on, the wrong organ removed, the wrong limb removed or amputated, the wrong patient taken to surgery, the wrong surgery or procedure performed, or the wrong organ removed are also happening. Even more frightening, is when a patient catches on fire while under anesthesia. All of these incidents are considered surgical errors.
Because there are so many surgical errors occurring, the Joint Commission, the organization that gives hospitals their accreditation, developed a “Universal Protocol” that requires every surgeon, anesthesiologist, surgical nurse, nurse anesthetist, surgical technician or anyone else involved in the surgery to take a time-out to confirm the right patient and right surgical procedure, in addition to completing a check-list prior to any surgery.
Other types of surgical errors occur during cosmetic or plastic surgery such as breast augmentation or implants, breast reconstruction, breast reduction, face lifts, tummy tucks or abdominoplasty. In these cases, the surgical mistakes may be not only be life threatening to the patient, but may also produce far worse disfiguring results than what the plastic surgery was meant to fix.
Lastly, there can also be errors made by the anesthesiologist or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). Mistakes on patients such as too much or too little anesthesia, improper monitoring, failure to recognize and treat an allergic reaction, improper placement of intravenous (IV) or arterial line, or improper positioning have also lead to nerve injuries, brain damage or even death during surgery.
Here at the Beasley surgical error law firm, we have seen surgical mistakes that have caused healthy organs to be removed, surgical items left inside of a body, wrong limbs amputated, diseased or cancerous organs not being removed, nerve damage, brain damage, the need for additional surgery, blindness, pain, suffering, and tremendous medical bills. We stand proud as being a nationally known medical negligence law firm where many judges, lawyers, politicians, television personalities, high ranking officials, and doctors have turned to when faced with, medical malpractice, surgical errors, catastrophic injuries, or a wrongful death. We have obtained two of the largest medical malpractice verdicts in Pennsylvania, $100 million and $55 million, and both of those cases involved patients that suffered catastrophic injuries due to errors during surgery.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of a surgical error or wrongful death, please contact one of our experienced lawyers, doctors or nurses at (215) 866-2424 for free no obligation consultation.